Michigan [1] (pronounced “MISH-i-g’n”) is an American state in the upper Midwest and the heart of the Great Lakes region. It has many attractions, famous landmarks, and scenic state and national parks and forests. In addition to the great ones, it has about 12,000 inland lakes, 38 deep-water ports, and more miles of coastline than any state but Alaska, and more lighthouses than any other U.S. state. Its agriculture features tourist-friendly fare such as cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and wine. And its cities include a major metropolis, some university towns, and countless rustic villages.
The state is geographically unique, being comprised of two major peninsulas and can be further divided into five distinct areas. They are the Upper Peninsula, (known to Michiganders and Wisconsinites as “The U.P”), Northern Michigan (Big Rapids and Northwards), West Michigan (along the sandy coast of Lake Michigan), Central Michigan or “Mid-Michigan” and the Southeast or “Downstate”.
The Lower Peninsula has the majority of the population (primarily in the south), while the Upper Peninsula, separated from it by Lake Michigan and a bit of Lake Huron, is mostly rural. Until 1957, the only way to drive from one to the other was to go all the way around Lake Michigan, or take your car onto a ferry.
Each Michigander carries a map of the state at all times. Stick out your right hand (palm toward you) and you have a map of the lower peninsula. Stick out your left hand (again with your palm facing you, fingers pointing to the right) and you have an approximate map of the upper peninsula. Don’t be surprised if a resident tells you where a city is by pointing at his hand.


Michigan22°light snowhumidity: 92%wind: 10mph SWH 22 • L 19
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